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Outdoor Winter Safety

With the winter season approaching, it’s best to be prepared for any potential illness or injury. Slipping on ice can cause broken bones or possible hypothermia from staying outside for too long its essential to take the proper precautions to stay safe. Understanding early symptoms and taking the time to avoid potential injuries can help yourself and others stay safe this season. AFC Urgent Care Burlington offers any information and urgent care services you may need this winter.

Physical Injury

Slipping and falling on ice can have some severe consequences. Broken bones and fractured wrists are some of the most common problems that are handled at urgent care clinics. Try and have salt down on the driveway and sidewalks to prevent water from freezing over and causing slippery ice. When walking outside, it’s best to avoid carrying too make things in case of a fall. Always use handrails and other means of support when walking outside, and try to avoid using your arms and hands to break a fall.

Safety while Shoveling

Shoveling snow in the winter has been known to cause heart attacks in some older individuals. Having a sedentary lifestyle for the cold months and then working your heart rate up in one day can trigger your heart to work too hard. When available, have someone younger shovel any driveways or sidewalks. If not, stretching and gradually getting your heart rate up before heading outside will help. Take frequent breaks and drink a lot of water to avoid any disasters. When shoveling, always try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you need to raise the snow to another place, always lift with your legs and not your back to avoid any back injuries.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia happens when heat from the body is released faster than it is made. It can be caused by not wearing the proper attire when outside for extended periods of time. It can happen quickly in children, as they typically do not know when the best time to come inside is after playing in the snow. Symptoms of hypothermia can include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion or memory loss

If someone is experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, get them inside as soon as possible. Be careful when moving someone, as jarring movements may cause an irregular heartbeat. Once inside, warm the person up with layers and blankets. Warm drinks can help raise an internal temperature. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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